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A Vibrating Nail?

Yep, you heard right. Though not a licensed nail tech, Cy Tymony, author of the new book Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, has created an innovative way to use simple, small, and inexpensive electronics to make a fun and interactive nail art design that really shakes things up.

Here is what you’ll need:

Full-well nail tip, 1.5-V watch battery, 1.5-V vibrating motor, flexible butterfly figure, adhesive tabs, butterfly ornament, butterfly decals, and nail glue. (The watch battery and vibrating motor can be found at local electronic parts stores, and the butterfly and adhesive tabs can be found at craft stores.)

The Vibrating Motor

The vibrating motor has two wires, a blue and red. The red is applied to the battery with an adhesive tab, and the blue is glued to the small pink butterfly. When the blue wire is pressed down on top of the battery, the vibrating motor will shake.

1. Stick decals onto the nail and apply a thin strip of adhesive tab near the cuticle extending to about halfway up the nail toward the free edge.

2. Position the vibrating motor at the front of the nail, off of the adhesive tab so it is free to move, and press the wires into the adhesive tab.

3. Glue the larger blue butterfly to the top of the vibrating motor, and glue the small pink butterfly to the red wire.

4. Fasten the small battery onto the cuticle area of the nail, into the adhesive tab to secure it.

5. The pink butterfly is light enough that the red wire supports it just above the battery. When it is pressed down from above, bringing the red wire in contact with the battery, the vibrating motor activates and the blue butterfly shakes.

Cy Tymony has been creating homemade inventions since childhood, and wrote his first book, Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, in 2003. The book was a success, and led to Tymony being featured on CNN Headline News, ABC’s Chicago Morning Show, NPR’s Science Friday with Ira Flatow, and The Chicago Tribune.

He has published eight books in the “Sneaky Uses” series. The latest, which includes this nail demo, is Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things. For more information, go to

You can see a video of Cy Tymony making this vibrating nail at

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